Saturday, 17 September 2011

September 11th - a positive story

September 11th was an important date for our examiners recently trained/professionally developed in Yamagata, Niigata and Fukushima. They got to get their teeth into some candidates – not literally of course. At least, not that I’ve heard!

Our examiners also had another hat to wear, as the nature of their examining was a co-operative deal with other school owners/venues running Young Learners….which is exactly the way I saw this working when the idea was conceived in a cross country drive with Steve Holland to Sendai nearly two years ago. I do like it when ducks get lined up – doesn’t happen too often, and the Tohoku disaster did put a rather large wrench in the works (Tomomi is still our hero for her examining in April).

Steve’s school (Windmill English Center) in Aizuwakamatsu became a venue for the first time back in June, offering KET & PET to Fukushima. Disco Paul was my co-pilot for that rocket drive, where we were able to help Steve “cross the t’s and dot the i’s”, besides interview the speaking candidates. Steve showed us the field next to his house where he could not stand up during the earthquake March 11th. We know it is not easy to get everything right first time as a venue – but it is very important that things are done by the book. We even translated the book (it is the fifth Gospel, ‘according to Yuki’). It was our privilege to get WEC on the map.

Alan Morrison’s school (Sunshine English) in Ojiya, Niigata, also became a YLE venue for the first time. Mark & I drove down the river, quite literally from Luna to his school two hours downstream, a couple of years ago when they had KET & PET. We might be repeating that journey in November now, by the way – great! Another town, incidentally, with considerable earthquake issues of its own.

Both of Ryan Hagglund’s schools (MY English) in Yamagata (Yamagata city and Sakata) were very first time venues, so particular congratulations to Ryan and his staff. I am hoping to visit their venue soon – not least because I have very fond memories of a motorbike trip through beautiful Yamagata year gone by!

Thank you Stephen, Alan, Ryan for getting organised & working together to make this unique session successful. Not quite a profit turner for any of you yet, but obviously an immediate pay off for the students at your schools and an indictment of the professional approach you take to teaching English. I sincerely hope your first YLE sessions are the thin end of the wedge. Let’s plan your 2012 session now, and get Mike, Anna, Ben, Mario examining too!

We are proud of you!
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